Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Two Windows and a Box of Happiness

(Above:  The Box of Happiness.  Commissioned artwork.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

I have a wonderful New York City collector who recently commissioned me to create a unique work of art, a piece to open when feeling depressed about life or simply sad.  I selected one of the boxes made this past spring while an artist in residence at the Osage Arts Community. It featured a vintage map of western Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh, the city from which my client originally comes. 

By creating seventeen pieces of mat board on which "happiness" quotations were written, the work was transformed into The Box of Happiness.  Both sides of the mat boards were decorated and have a quotation. The research was the best part of this project.  I read hundreds and hundreds of quotations.  Some were ancient, some quite new.  Some were said by renown authors, some by celebrity actors or self-help gurus or inventors or corporate executives or religious leaders. Some were translations from other cultures or said by comedians.  Some made me cry and others made me laugh.  It was a thought-provoking way to spend a day. Narrowing down the selection was hard.  Finally, I had a list but it was still too long.  Randomly, I wrote thirty-four onto the pieces of mat board but included the list I compiled in a card to my client. I hope the box brings him some relief from the depression he suffers.

I understand depression in a visceral way. Though never officially diagnosed, it wouldn't be surprising if I had been or one day might be.  Fighting these mental demons is an on-going process.  I'm sure I'll consult my list of happiness quotes in the future.  It is further below.

  (Above:  Window CLXIV. Inventory # 4566. Framed:  19" x 17". $265 plus tax and shipping.)

I also finished two more Window Series pieces.  They have already been taken to the Grovewood Gallery in Asheville.  My husband Steve and I drove there on Saturday afternoon to deliver sixteen pieces.  We took the long way back home, driving through the mountains and by Looking Glass waterfall.  It was beautiful.  Nature is one of the sure ways for me to put any depression into perspective.

 (Above:  Window CLXV. Inventory # 4567. Framed:  19" x 17". $265 plus tax and shipping.)

Now ... here's the list of carefully selected "happiness quotes" sent to my special client!
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
― Dalai Lama XIV

“Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.”
― John Lennon

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

“The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it's all that matters.”
― Audrey Hepburn

“Happiness is a warm puppy.”
― Charles M. Schulz

“Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.”
― George Burns

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
― Marcel Proust

“Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.”
― Mark Twain

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, "This is what it is to be happy.”
― Sylvia Plath

“I've got nothing to do today but smile.”
― Simon and Garfunkel

“Learn to value yourself, which means: fight for your happiness.”
― Ayn Rand

“The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.”
― Mark Twain

“And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon.”
― Edward Lear from The Owl and the Pussycat

“One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory.”
― Rita Mae Brown

“Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.”
― Robert Frost

“With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.”
― William Shakespeare 

“Happiness is an accident of nature, a beautiful and flawless aberration.”
― Pat Conroy

“Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

“Laughter is poison to fear.”
― George R.R. Martin from A Game of Thrones

“I think happiness is what makes you pretty. Period.”
― Drew Barrymore

I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.”
― Groucho Marx

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever.”
― John Keats

“If only we'd stop trying to be happy, we could have a pretty good time.”
― Edith Wharton

“My happiness is not the means to any end. It is the end. It is its own goal. It is its own purpose.”
― Ayn Rand

“Success is getting what you want..
Happiness is wanting what you get.”
― Dale Carnegie

“Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting some on yourself.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Just because you are happy it does not mean that the day is perfect but that you have looked beyond its imperfections”
― Bob Marley

“Happy. Just in my swim shorts, barefooted, wild-haired, in the red fire dark, singing, swigging wine, spitting, jumping, running—that's the way to live.”
― Jack Kerouac

“We're all golden sunflowers inside.”
― Allen Ginsberg

“Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly.”
― Leo Tolstoy

“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.”
― Andy Rooney

“My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations.”
― Michael J. Fox

“Laughter is a sunbeam of the soul.”
― Thomas Mann

“A flower blossoms for its own joy.”
― Oscar Wilde

“Your success and happiness lie in you.”
― Helen Keller

“Happiness and confidence are the prettiest things you can wear”
― Taylor Swift

“Happiness is a gift and the trick is not to expect it, but to delight in it when it comes.”
― Charles Dickens

“You have to be willing to get happy about nothing.”
― Andy Warhol

“Do the best you can, and don't take life too serious.”
― Will Rogers

“Some people are so much sunshine to the square inch.”
― Walt Whitman

“Pleasure is the only thing one should live for, nothing ages like happiness.”
― Oscar Wilde

“To be happy--one must find one's bliss”
― Gloria Vanderbilt

“I still believe that peace and plenty and happiness can be worked out some way.”
― Kurt Vonnegut

“How exquisitely human was the wish for permanent happiness”
― Toni Morrison

“Those who wish to sing always find a song.”
― Swedish proverb

“Everyone chases after happiness, not noticing that happiness is at their heels.”
― Bertolt Brecht

“We are all a great deal luckier that we realize, we usually get what we want - or near enough.”
― Roald Dahl from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

“Happiness was waiting to be chosen.”
― Pearl S. Buck

“There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.”
― Robert Louis Stevenson

1 comment:

Sherrie Spangler said...

I've been collecting uplifting quotes all year and just came across this one that you might like: "Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain," by Joseph Campbell. For me, joy is the colors in my art and sunsets. For you, it is probably also in your art. I hope your quotes bring happiness to your client.